22 February 2011

Movies: Don McKay

Don McKay http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1281374/
Don McKay left his hometown 25 years ago and works as a janitor at a high school. He sent letters to his high school sweetheart each year. After finally receiving a letter back from her, he returns to his hometown to find out she is dying and she wants to marry him so she can die happy. Her doctor, on the other hand, happens to love her and isn't too happy to see Don and lets him know by trying to strangle him.

Stars you'll likely recognize: Thomas Haden Church, Elisabeth Shue, M. Emmet Walsh, Keith David, a few more of the supporting cast as well.

This is an interesting little thriller/mystery of sorts and darkly comedic, with a twisted back story that is slowly untangled as the movie progresses. 

Solid performances by the main and supporting cast. One really nice touch from the cast is the way they telegraph there is something not quite right by the way they play their characters. Especially Elisabeth Shue. You've probably seen her in other movies, and she's a decent actress, so seeing how odd her performance is at the beginning really hints that she might be a special brand of crazy. But exactly how is one of those things that gets unraveled over time.
Thing is, once the movie is done, some of the character's seeming odd interactions with Don McKay are explained. And what may seem to be throw-away characters tossed into the story line are revealed as a little more vital by the end. 

This is the first movie from Jake Goldberger, who both wrote and directed the film. Surprisingly good flick for a newcomer who's previous work was as a production assistant on only one film back in 2003. Having an experienced crew (DP, lighting technicians, etc) working with him must have contributed to this movie's polished look that didn't seem to have a bunch of obvious amateur mistakes. The music was a little odd at times.

Shown at the Tribeca Film Festival, and possibly had a limited theatrical release. I can't see this film as being a successful mainstream theatrical film, but is nonetheless a worthwhile watch. 

If you happen to be able to catch it on a movie channel, or as a rental, it's probably worth checking out if you're at a loss for what to watch that evening. Just be prepared that this is one of those types of movies that need your attention throughout the movie so that everything makes sense by the end of the movie, once all the threads are tied together.

(original post 4 July 2010)

Re-reading this 7 months later I'm thinking I would probably enjoy watching this flick again. It left a good positive impression.

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